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ted_b

First multi-channel DSD playback solution with Mytek!

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@ted_b

 

What is your reason from going from Mytek to ExaSound. Is it SQ or convenience ?

 

I believed you mentioned that you didn't like the pre amplifier part of the Mytek, and I find this one of the obstacles for replacing my Pre Pro with a DAC ('s). I like the almost unlimited number of channels a PC can offer and that is one of my reasons looking into this.

 

Do I understand correctly that the reason for a clock sync with the Myteks is because of the ASync USB placing the clock control at each induvidual DAC?

 

Would this be less of a problem when using a Multi Channel AES pro audio card which sends the clock signal along with the data stream? But what if the DAC is reclocking the signal?

 

More importantly, how big of a problem is this with multi channel audio. I can understand the impact when using it in an active xover.

 

I find your work very inspiring and definitely want to move into that direction for my Home Theater. I really like to understand the clock influence because this will help finding the right DAC which I want to build my system around.

 

It is a bit worrying that it seems very quiet around this subject while DSD and DAC's are booming business.

 

Hi. Yes, the exaSound is significantly fewer cables, etc etc. The stacked Mytek was really a proof of concept, not a real practical solution (althoiugh not that tought to set up and its biggest benefit is that you could grow into it, buying one dac at a time).

 

Clock synch is not an issue with exaSound of course. The clocks in each DAC synched up perfectly (master/slave) when I had them connected, versus not doing it which would produce a very slightly smeared soundstage.

 

Thanks for the nice comments. Yes, multichannel DSD audio is not a huge subject here on CA, but then again there are few DACs.

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The exaSound e28 is an an all-in-one solution for Multichannel music downloads. The Mytek can be made to work that way with 3 units and some driver magic. Most people will probably go for the all-in-one approach. (I did).

 

But we do have the Merging Technologies NADAC 8-Channel and 16-Channel DACs for the home market coming later in the year. So soon there will be another choice - although more expensive (starting at $7,500).

And one (or more) for significantly less: nanoAVR HDA | MiniDSP

Kal Rubinson

Music in the Round

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

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And one (or more) for significantly less: nanoAVR HDA | MiniDSP

 

Kal, good morning. Jared and I are sitting here at my home office desk wondering why you would support a non-DSD 8 channel DAC!!!! LOL.

 

Yes, this is an interesting alternative for those with HDMI out options like an Oppo. It is HDMI (and linear PCM) only.

 

BTW, Jared says to remind you that you need to get Mahler 9 when it comes out. :) He will contact you asap.

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Kal, good morning. Jared and I are sitting here at my home office desk wondering why you would support a non-DSD 8 channel DAC!!!! LOL.

 

Yes, this is an interesting alternative for those with HDMI out options like an Oppo. It is HDMI (and linear PCM) only.

I am glad you included the LOL! This is a cheap entry into multichannel file play and, undoubtedly, will be followed by more capable but still inexpensive versions. (I can say no more.) Let people get a taste!

Kal Rubinson

Music in the Round

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

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Do I understand correctly that you will need a custom driver to handle 3 DAC's as multichannel via USB?

 

What is the experience with clock drift when you use a Pro Audio Card like a Lynx or RME with multichannel AES/EBU with multiple DAC's?

 

I think I have found the DAC that I want to use, but no word clock I/O. Audio-Gd Master 7, works well without a pre amp. It can do I2s, but I am not sure if that helps with any clock drift.

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I am glad you included the LOL! This is a cheap entry into multichannel file play and, undoubtedly, will be followed by more capable but still inexpensive versions. (I can say no more.) Let people get a taste!

 

Kal,

Do you have any contacts or references for synching three 2 channel DACs?

I read the threads from several years ago concerning the Myteks.

I am interested in the new Gustards which have 2 9028 chips. They can be extensively modded as well.

I have an Oppo 105, but maybe looking to upgrade. I am aware the there is a new e38 and maybe an upcoming Oppo 205(?). The Gustards may be better.

Thanks very much Kal

jjk43

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Kal,

Do you have any contacts or references for synching three 2 channel DACs?

I read the threads from several years ago concerning the Myteks.

 

You can also link/sync three 2 channel DACs from Playback Designs for Multichannel playback with their PL-LINK system.

 

That assumes that you are willing to use 3 Stereo DACs in a music system vs. a dedicated Multichannel DAC like the exasound e38 and the Merging Technologies MC-8 NADAC.

 

http://www.nativedsd.com/database

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As the OP here, I would say that using multiple dacs (2 or 3 in this case) to do multichannel is fun, but requires a set of dacs that have word clock in/outs to stay synched, and a good ASIO driver to manage the multiple channel mapping (and use something like HQplayer for trims, etc).

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Kal,

Do you have any contacts or references for synching three 2 channel DACs?

Other than Mytek and Playback Designs, no. As Ted has mentioned, there are specific features necessary and the manufacturer's support is essential. I suggest you point out the advantages of doing this to Gustard and mention that they could be offering a multichannel product without actually making one!

Kal Rubinson

Music in the Round

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

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You could also talk with Ted Smith at PS Audio. He has linked 3 PS Audio DirectStream DACs to the company's new DirectStream Memory Player to play Multichannel SACDs and discs. Interesting if your focus is on Multichannel Disc playback vs. file playback.

 

"With the DS Memory Player, PS Audio brings us a transport based on the Oppo Universal Disc player together with PS Audio designed audio circuitry. Also worth noting, the new player features 6 channels of coax and HDMI/I2S audio outputs that bring stereo and 6 channel audio from CD, SACD, DVD Video and DVD Audio discs into a PS Audio DirectStream DAC (without the need to rip the disc before playback) using a proprietary connection. Orders for the DS Memory Player start November 1st.

 

Audio Designer Ted Smith from PS Audio was at the product introduction and told me that he has one of the beta DS Memory Players in his home system connected to a trio of PS Audio DirectStream DACs, giving him Multichannel SACD playback via the DirectStream. "

 

Discoveries at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2016 - Positive Feedback

http://www.psaudio.com/products/directstream-memory-player/

http://www.psaudio.com/products/directstream-dac/

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Use a Lynx PCIe card with an Aurora 16 as well as a Dangerous Music Source DAC via USB as an Aggregate Device in OSX. Rock solid. No synch issues whatsoever.

I believe the Lynx Auroras and Hilos can also be chained via Thunderbolt.

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You can also do 8 channel with an Oppo and a Audiopraise Vanity HD card. Spdif or aes out to 3-4 dacs. I am having Joseph Chow of Audio Horizons build a 8 channel passive volume control using 47 step Elma smd control.

 

Level trim and such can be adjusted within the Oppo. I'm thinking a quad stack of level 2 Holo Spring's

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You can also do 8 channel with an Oppo and a Audiopraise Vanity HD card. Spdif or aes out to 3-4 dacs. I am having Joseph Chow of Audio Horizons build a 8 channel passive volume control using 47 step Elma smd control.

 

Level trim and such can be adjusted within the Oppo. I'm thinking a quad stack of level 2 Holo Spring's

 

That's a quite an investment with no word clock synching. How do you control the drift?

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That's the rub.. the Vanity HD does not have a word clock in. They said they could add one as it's not a big deal. They do have a re locker and very nice ppl in the card already.

 

I was thinking 4 very high quality matched length cables. Ted Smith at PS Audio did something similar with a stack of his DSD DAC's and it worked just fine.

 

Maybe use a Mutec device? Gotta assemble the DAC's and volume control first...

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That's a quite an investment with no word clock synching. How do you control the drift?

If the S/PDIF outputs use the same clock, there will be no drift. Assuming identical DACs have equal latency, the outputs should be in sync.

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If the S/PDIF outputs use the same clock, there will be no drift. Assuming identical DACs have equal latency, the outputs should be in sync.

 

That is what I thought of when reading about Ted at PS running a stack of three DSD DAC's. Even if you were good at picking up a set of 4 used, your still looking at $15k. You could get 4 springs for half that amount. Even less if you went with a Tascam which I have. I thought of getting 3 more of those also..

 

Let's keep exchanging ideas because I'm in the middle of doing this now. I have the Oppo 103D with the Spdif card and Linear power supply. I have plenty of Amps and Speakers too!

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I am having Joseph Chow of Audio Horizons build a 8 channel passive volume control using 47 step Elma smd control.
Any more details about the VC? Bal or SE? RC capable?

Kal Rubinson

Music in the Round

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

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It would depend on how long it would take JC to build it. He's been rebuilding/heavily modifying my Sunfire Vacuum Tube Control Center and that's been over a year in the making. (Tube regulated power supply, all inputs replaced with silver wbt's, new Lundahl Transformer and Choke etc ) If you are really interested in my decent into audio madness:

CarverAudio.com • View topic - The Mother of all Sunfire Vacuum Tube Pre Amp Upgrades

 

So my other idea was a SPL Vol 8 https://spl.info/en/products/monitor-controller/volume-8/overview.html you can pick one up for around $700 plus another couple hundred for the break out cables... that might be a nice fool proof way to have a master volume control.. If i have JC build it, i would use the new Elma switches. I would like independent control of each group of 2 and sub plus a master control.

 

I think the SPL would probably be cheaper and just use the built in trim controls in the Oppo....

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I think the SPL would probably be cheaper and just use the built in trim controls in the Oppo....
I looked at the SPL and, although they have a good reputation, I somehow find it unappealing. I saw indications that they are doing some real cosmetic/ergonomic enhancements on some of their devices and I'd like to see them redo this one.

Kal Rubinson

Music in the Round

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

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Hi all,

 

I am new to M-ch  playback, joining u guys on this rare topic. And fascinated by multiple DAC method but I have some dumb questions. Some may have been answered but it is hard to figure all this in this long thread.

Ted, thanks for sharing your fascinating experiment. Do u mind explaining how the USB hub that I presume is split into 3 separate channels? And it needs a SOtm card to drive it ? 

And is there some clocking issue even with 3 identical DACs? So word clock for all is really needed?  PS audio can do M-ch using 3 DAC but they can use I2S

 

can audirvana for Mac only do the same ? I know it can use with MiniDSp Dio which splits USB To 8 ch AES/Spdif though I am not sure if the internal clock of the MAc or PC would be sufficient 

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37 minutes ago, Chopin75 said:

Hi all,

 

I am new to M-ch  playback, joining u guys on this rare topic. And fascinated by multiple DAC method but I have some dumb questions. Some may have been answered but it is hard to figure all this in this long thread.

Ted, thanks for sharing your fascinating experiment. Do u mind explaining how the USB hub that I presume is split into 3 separate channels? And it needs a SOtm card to drive it ? 

And is there some clocking issue even with 3 identical DACs? So word clock for all is really needed?  PS audio can do M-ch using 3 DAC but they can use I2S

 

can audirvana for Mac only do the same ? I know it can use with MiniDSp Dio which splits USB To 8 ch AES/Spdif though I am not sure if the internal clock of the MAc or PC would be sufficient 

 

Another interesting choice for Multichannel playback is the exaSound e38 DAC.  It plays multichannel FLAC, DSD and DXD files.  Including multichannel DSD 256 files on the Mac with its special Mac drivers.  DSD 256 playback is not available with the Mac on most DACs - Stereo or Multichannel.  

 

 
 

https://www.exasound.com/e38/e38DACOverview.aspx

http://gear.nativedsd.com/product/exasound-e38-dac/ 

e38-perspective-800.png

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9 hours ago, Chopin75 said:

Hi all,

 

I am new to M-ch  playback, joining u guys on this rare topic. And fascinated by multiple DAC method but I have some dumb questions. Some may have been answered but it is hard to figure all this in this long thread.

Ted, thanks for sharing your fascinating experiment. Do u mind explaining how the USB hub that I presume is split into 3 separate channels? And it needs a SOtm card to drive it ? 

And is there some clocking issue even with 3 identical DACs? So word clock for all is really needed?  PS audio can do M-ch using 3 DAC but they can use I2S

 

can audirvana for Mac only do the same ? I know it can use with MiniDSp Dio which splits USB To 8 ch AES/Spdif though I am not sure if the internal clock of the MAc or PC would be sufficient 

Thx.  It's been 5 and a half years since I did this, but from recollection I would be slightly pessimistic about doing this on the Mac.  Why?  Because the Mytek Windows ASIO driver is the key here.  It is the traffic cop that makes a simple USB hub into a 3 dac solution, taking each dacs serial number and assigning l/r, c-lfe and ls-rs to the dacs respectively.  And to answer the word clock question, I simply used the internal clocks and cabled them together (wclk in, wclk out) to keep them in sync, as per Michal at Mytek.  As I documented in the mini-review, I tried them without the clock cables and the presentation lost musicality.

 

I have never done a proper a/b between this multi-dac solution and my exaSound e28, which is my current go-to for multichannel playback.  Yes, the more modern e38 is no doubt better than my e28.

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Yah, I suppose the plan for Multi-DAC would be difficult. I know about the Exasound 38, just can't afford or willing to pay all that for a single  ESS sabre chip, and unbalanced output. I wish there will be a more cost effective version for DSD.   Not to mention that M-ch DSD are very expensive.

 

My hope is to use few of the cheaper Audio-GD  DACs that cost from $400-$800 that allows I2S signal in so you get nice native DSD.  Though the USB way is more practical I suppose


Does it sound sufficiently good with PC driving teh EXasound ? They have their own  Streamer too to match the exasound DAC

In near future I may try  using miniDSP dio8 :

https://www.minidsp.com/products/usb-audio-interface/u-dio8

 

Though I am  not sure if it can clock properly if using separate DACs.

 

So now I will just do this:

https://www.minidsp.com/products/usb-audio-interface/u-dac8

 

none of these do DSD but that is all I can do for now but at least either options are cheap! Thanks to Hong Kong's tech. But no return/refund, again thanks to Hong Kong's style (I am from there!)

 

 

 

 

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